Friday, February 12, 2010

Thin Places

Mary DeMuth recently sent me a copy of her new book, Thin Places. I knew it was a memoir, but beyond that really had no idea what to expect. So far I've only been able to steal away enough moments to read the introduction and already I'm enthralled. Mary describes thin places as "those times where the division between this world and the eternal fades; snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where we might just catch a glimpse of eternity." Check back here in the coming weeks (or maybe months - I'm a very slow reader) as I'm sure I'll have more to share about the book later.

In the meantime, I received an interesting invitation this week, asking me to share with you my own "thin place" story, a time when God burst through my life to remind me of His presence or reassure me of His reality. The story was to be exactly 259 words long. If you know my writing, you probably know that limited word counts are the hardest writing challenges for me!

Why such a specific word count? This is the retail price of a new Kindle, the contest prize for the winning essay submitted. Please join me for your chance to win a Kindle by sharing your thin place story too! (Head on over to for details.)

This story describing my journey in the spring/summer of 1994, started out at over 500 words. Even then I felt like I was leaving out important details, but I finally got it down to the exact 259. So here we go...

“I should drive across the median. I've failed at everything. They would be better off without me.” These mocking thoughts no longer frightened me.

My health failed first. I dropped out of school. Our business tottered on the bring of bankruptcy. Yet none of these were my greatest disappointment.

Two years of yearning for the fulfillment of dreams I had carried since my earliest memories left me disillusioned. “Lord, we are serving you in every way we know how. Don't you promise the desires of our hearts?”

I flung my Bible across the room. Remorseful, I ran to find it open to 1 Samuel.

“Not funny, Lord!” I hated Hannah's story. How could He put her through years of waiting, only to bless her with a child, then take back the thing she most longed for?

I sat down to read it again, to prove to God how cruel He was. What, God never demanded Samuel of Hannah? She gave him of her own free will?

Heaven broke through the hardness of my heart, not with an audible voice, yet with words that rang loud and true, “My child, you cannot treat me according to the gifts I choose to give or withhold. I AM worthy!”

I offered works in hopes of blessing. He wanted praise for the sake of love.

We lost our business. I never earned my degree. It was five more years before we held a living miracle in our arms. But I never fantasized about driving my car into another again.

No comments: